A Bad Day in Cambodia is Still Better Than...

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December 27th 2010
Published: December 27th 2010
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I am sorry I have not been able to post in a while. There's a lot of stuff I have been meaning to say, but, as I alluded to in my half-assed Christmas post, I've been rather unwell.

I went to a wedding (yes, a wedding, which you will read about shortly) and getting there involved being stuck in a car next to two sick little girls for six hours either way. I don't know what they had, but they spent a large portion of the time coughing directly in my face. One of them was feverish, possibly with chicken pox.

At any rate, by the end of the four day process, I was starting to get a little congested myself. I developed a "pathetic little cough" (in the words of a friend of mine) which then turned into a mega-cough that involved me publicly choking and suffocating (sometimes as I was trying to conduct a class). That lasted for about a week, after which I began to feel achy and feverish and fatigued as I carried on lessons in the afternoons and evenings. Problem was, I never registered even remotely feverish on the thermometer, so I assumed it was a side effect of the cold.

One evening as I was in the shower, my nose, which had been annoyingly stuffy all day, began to behave more like a spigot than a nose. I have never had this experience, and it didn't let up that day or the next. The next day, which happened to be Christmas, I had a severe headache. I spent the night lying face down (because lying on my back made me gag and choke) with a roll of toilet paper shoved up my nose; I kept waking up every half an hour having to change the paper. After a few miserable hours, I called it a night and woke up with my facial bones hurting as though I'd been hit with a sledgehammer. My upper right molars felt like they were in dire need of an operation. My lungs were compressing, I could scarcely draw a breath, and I was badly feverish.

I took a hot shower and laid shivering under blankets in my 90 degree apartment, unable to move, all day, until my former driver showed up for my evening Khmer lesson. I staggered down four flights of stairs and had him take me to a pharmacy where I bought some antibiotics. I have no idea whether or not they are counterfeit (the salesgirls charged me almost double the price on box, so they better not be), but they seemed to knock out my sinus troubles and fever within the first 12 hours or so. They did a pretty good job at getting rid of my cough, too.

At any rate, I didn't even realize until I came home from work tonight how miserable and un-energetic I had been over the last two weeks or so. It's probably the reason I haven't been able to update my blog and have struggled to grade papers and plan classes. I have no idea what it was that I contracted, but it seems to have 1. come from the girls, and 2. ended in a bacterial sinus infection. My mother was always trying to tell me that I had a sinus infection whenever I got a cold as a little girl, but nothing like this has ever happened to me before.

Like I said, though, a sick day in Phnom Penh is still better than some other day in Chhh.... nah, nevermind. No need for resentment. I'll do my best to update you on the wedding.


28th December 2010

Glad you are better!
Sorry you were so sick, but glad you are feeling well now. I had a great get-together holiday party with family and friends and a wonderful Christmas Eve with my dad's side of the family (and Dan and his kids) and went up to Toledo with Dan to see his pals on Christmas Day. Can't complain about a thing. Well, Christi, Dan's ex, sent us some mean text messages on Christmas Day but I just let it roll off my back, pitying her, knowing she is just wallowing in her self-pity and misery and trying to start drama. There was nothing we could do about the stuff she was whining about...except pray for her...so that's what we did. Can't wait to hear about the wedding. Hope it was worth all the pain you ended up having to endure as a result! Also, did you get my package yet? I was hoping you'd get it before Christmas and it sounds like you really need it, so I'll pray it gets there soon! Love, danna
28th December 2010

One to look out for
Snotty nosed kids are the same the world over. but whatever you had sounds awful. Hope to be in Angkor Wat in Feb. Take care.
29th December 2010

Thanks StewMarg--I'm just grateful that I was not suffering from Malaria or Dengue Fever, both of which are quite prevalent in this country. As a resident, I sort of accept these illnesses as an eventuality. At least with this, I was functional for most of the two weeks I was sick. Well, I hope you enjoy Angkor Wat; I've never actually been there. I'm glad your coming to visit my favorite country. All the best.

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